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Enter ACROTELEUTIUM and MILPHIDIPPA from the house of PERIPLECOMENUS.

MILPHIDIPPA
in a low voice . Mistress, see! the Captain's near.

ACROTELEUTIUM
in a low voice . Where is he?

MILPHIDIPPA
Only look to the left. Eye him askance, that he mayn't perceive that we are looking at him.

ACROTELEUTIUM
I see him. Troth, now's the time, in our mischief, for us to become supremely mischievous.

MILPHIDIPPA
'Tis for you to begin.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Prithee, did you see him yourself? Aside. Don't spare your voice, so that he may hear.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . By my troth, I talked with his own self, at my ease, as long as I pleased, at my leisure, at my own discretion, just as I wished.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . Do you hear what she says?

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . I hear. How delighted she is because she had access to you.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . O happy woman that you are!

PYRGOPOLINICES
How I do seem to be loved!

PALAESTRIO
You are deserving of it.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . By my troth, 'tis passing strange what you say, that you had access to him and prevailed. They say that he is usually addressed, like a king, through letters or messengers.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . But, i' faith, 'twas with difficulty I had an opportunity of approaching and beseeching him.

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . How renowned you are among the fair

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . I shall submit, since Venus wills it so.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . By heavens! I return to Venus grateful thanks, and her I do beseech and entreat, that I may win him whom I love and whom I seek to win, and that to me he may prove gentle, and not make a difficulty about what I desire.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . I hope it may be so; although many ladies are seeking to win him for themselves, he disdains them and estranges himself from all but you alone.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Therefore this fear torments me, since he is so disdainful, lest his eyes, when he beholds me, should change his sentiments, and his own gracefulness should at once disdain my form.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . He will not do so; be of good heart.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . How she does slight herself!

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . I fear lest your account may have surpassed my looks.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud. I've taken care of this, that you shall be fairer than his expectations.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Troth, if he shall refuse to take me as his wife, by heavens I'll embrace his knees and entreat him! If I shall be unable to prevail on him, in some way or other, I'll put myself to death. I'm quite sure that without him I cannot live.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . I see that I must prevent this woman's death. Shall I accost her?

PALAESTRIO
By no means; for you will be making yourself cheap if you lavish yourself away of your own accord. Let her come spontaneously, seek you, court you, strive to win you. Unless you wish to lose that glory which you have, please have a care what you do. For I know that this was never the lot of any mortal, except two persons, yourself and Phaon of Lesbos1, to be loved so desperately.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . I'll go in-doors2--or, my dear Milphidippa, do you call him out of doors.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . Aye; let's wait until some one comes out.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . I can't restrain myself from going il to him.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . The door's fastened. ACROT. aloud . I'll break it in then.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . You are not in your senses.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . If he has ever loved, or if he has wisdom equal to his beauty, whatever I may do through love, he will pardon me by reason of his compassionate feelings.

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . Prithee, do see, how distracted the poor thing is with love.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . 'Tis mutual in us.

PALAESTRIO
Hush! Don't you let her hear.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . Why do you stand stupefied? Why don't you knock?

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Because he is not within whom I want.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . How do you know3?

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . By my troth, I do know it easily; for my nose would scent him if he were within.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . She is a diviner. Because she is in love with me, Venus has made her prophesy.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . He is somewhere or other close at hand whom I do so long to behold. I'm sure I smell him.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . Troth, now, she really sees better with her nose than with her eyes.

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . She is blind from love.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Prithee, do support me.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . Why?

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Lest I should fall.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . Why?

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Because I cannot stand; my senses--my senses are sinking so by reason of my eyes.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . Heavens! you've seen the Captain.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . I have.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . I don't see him. Where is he?

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . Troth, you would see him if you were in tove.

MILPHIDIPPA
aloud . I' faith, you don't love him more than I do myself, with your good leave.

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . No doubt all of the women, as soon as each has seen you, are in love with you.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . I don't know whether you have heard it from me or not; I'm the grandson of Venus.

ACROTELEUTIUM
aloud . My dear Milphidippa, prithee do approach and accost him.

PYRGOPOLINICES
to PALAESTRIO . How she does stand in awe of me!

PALAESTRIO
to PYRGOPOLINICES . She is coming towards us.

MILPHIDIPPA
advancing . I wish to speak with you.

PYRGOPOLINICES
And we with you.

MILPHIDIPPA
I have brought my mistress out of the house, as you requested me.

PYRGOPOLINICES
So I see.

MILPHIDIPPA
Request her, then, to approach.

PYRGOPOLINICES
Since you have entreated it, I have prevailed upon my mind not to detest her just like other women.

MILPHIDIPPA
I' faith she wouldn't be able to utter a word if she were to come near you; while she was looking at you, her eyes have in the meantime tied her tongue.

PYRGOPOLINICES
I see that this woman's disorder must be cured.

MILPHIDIPPA
See how terrified she is since she beheld you.

PYRGOPOLINICES
Even armed men are the same; don't wonder at a woman being so. But what does she wish me to do?

MILPHIDIPPA
You to come to her house; she wishes to live and to pass her life with you.

PYRGOPOLINICES
What!--I come home to her, when she is a married woman? Her husband is to be stood in fear of.

MILPHIDIPPA
Why,--for your sake, she has turned her husband out of her house.

PYRGOPOLINICES
How? How could she do so?

MILPHIDIPPA
The house was her marriage-portion.

PYRGOPOLINICES
Was it so?

MILPHIDIPPA
It was so, on my word.

PYRGOPOLINICES
Bid her go home; I'll be there just now.

MILPHIDIPPA
Take care, and don't keep her in expectation; don't torment her feelings.

PYRGOPOLINICES
Not I, indeed. Do you go then.

MILPHIDIPPA
We are going. ACROTELEUTIUM and MILPHIDIPPA go into the house of PERIPLECOMENUS.

PYRGOPOLINICES
But what do I see?

PALAESTRIO
What do you see?

PYRGOPOLINICES
See there, some one is coming, I know not who, but in a sailor's dress.

PALAESTRIO
He is surely wanting us, now; really, it is the shipmaster.

PYRGOPOLINICES
He's come, I suppose, to fetch her.

PALAESTRIO
I fancy so.

1 Phaon of Lesbos: Sappho, the poetess, was enamoured of Phaon the Lesbian. When he deserted her, she threw herself from the Leucadian promontory or Lover's Leap, which was supposed to provide a cure for unrequited love. Her death was the consequence. See her Epistle to Phaon, the twenty-first of the Heroides of Ovid.

2 I'll go indoors: It must be remembered, that all this time they have pretended not to see Palaestrio or his master. Milphidippa cautioned her mistress only to take a side-glance at him (limis), after which they have, probably turned their backs.

3 How do you know: In Ritschel's edition, these words are attributed to Palaestrio. This is clearly a mistake, for Palaestrio has not yet joined in their conversation. He and his master are listening to what they say.

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